A Christian Ministry which helps individuals overcome unwanted same-sex attraction has been advised that it will lose its bank account.
Core Issues Trust, a non-profit Christian ministry, supports men and women who voluntarily want to deal with unwanted same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria.
In July, Twitter users began pressuring Barclays Bank to stop providing financial services to CIT. Barclay’s Bank, one of the UK’s biggest banks, subsequently notified CIT that its bank account would be terminated in September.
The International Federation for Therapeutic and Counselling Choice, an initiative supported by CIT, has also been informed that its account will be closed.
CEO of CIT Mike Davidson said he rejected the accusatory term “conversion therapy”:
“This is a pejorative, imposed term, coined by an American gay activist, Dr Douglas Haldeman in 1991, that names some extremes such as electro-shock and aversion techniques only ever conducted by medics, long since abandoned from the 60s, or extreme behaviours already outlawed such as ‘corrective’ rape for which there are no prosecutions in the UK.
“Because the term speaks of talking therapies and counselling as ‘pseudo-science’ in association with these extremes, to be heard defending talking therapy and counselling for unwanted same-sex attractions is then taken to be a defence of the indefensible ‘Conversion Therapy’ label.”
UK-based advocacy group Christian Concern reported that CIT has been subjected to an abusive harassment campaign:
On social media there has been a campaign of aggressive trolling and dehumanising of Mike Davidson, Trustee Matthew Grech and staff worker Kylie Delia – extending also to personal accounts. One text message hoped that staff family members are raped and killed. A text message with a satanic image was sent to the CIT mobile phone. Multiple complaints to social media sites were made about CIT. Videos and live broadcasts, previously reviewed and agreed as valid adverts with the platform were taken down by Facebook as was the CIT banner on more than one occasion. CIT Instagram content was also removed, despite being acceptable for more than two years. CIT staff were blocked from posting on Facebook and were unable to block trolls.
“If it is CIT first, it will be churches next,” said Andrea Williams CEO of Christian Concern.
“If banks and other service providers start to placate social media campaigns by unilaterally terminating their accounts then the UK will be a very difficult place for Biblically faithful Christian ministries."
In 2016, prominent financial institution PayPal announced it would boycott the city of Charlotte in US state North Carolina, after the city restricted men who think they are women from using female restrooms.
In retaliation for the move to protect women and girls, PayPal announced it would axe a plan that would have seen 400 jobs and a $3.6 million investment in the city.